One recent evening I attended a Baroque concert and was rewarded with not simply music, but a beautiful, celestial experience. “Wild Cosmos Baroque Salon,” presented by Atlas Obscura, wonderfully connected past and present in a modern interpretation of the salons of old.

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Brooklyn’s San Damiano Mission made a perfect setting for an evening of beauty, music, and spectacle. This was a night spent under simulated heavens : a warm candlelit glow was nicely complemented by artificial lighting that speckled the beautifully ornamented sanctuary with shimmering stars.

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The main attraction – the music – was delightful. The ensemble included authentic Baroque instruments with gut (instead of steel) strings: a harpsichord, violins, and a viola da gamba. The enthusiasm of these talented musicians was quite palpable. They weren’t simply reading and playing notes, but feeling all the varying nuances with their entire being.

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Side note: where can I get a gorgeous headband like this?!

Just as I was thinking I could dance, two bellydancers appeared, gracefully twirling and casting a spell on us all. I would have liked to see some authentic Baroque dancing, but the bellydancers matched the hypnotic pull of the music very well.

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Forgive my excessively poetic tone, but the entire evening was absolutely spellbinding. The final performance consisted of a harpsichord and electronic composition accompanied by an acrobat performer doing amazing hoop tricks. The acrobat artist, Kelsey Strauch, was mesmerizing and I know I wasn’t the only one with their face frozen in awe. Check out her Instagram page here for a taste.

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And somehow I missed the memo that costumes were encouraged. What a bummer, you know, because I have so many seventeenth and eighteenth-century ensembles readily at hand : P

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Look! Eighteenth-century ghosts!

‘Wild Cosmos’ Baroque Salon was a hauntingly beautiful evening that was over far too quickly. It’s now a recent dream I long to revisit.

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